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Front matter

Case studies, comparative analyses, empirical and statistical studies, as well as legal reflections with a policy perspective will be considered. More Information. States should ensure through public funding, based on solidarity and the fair redistribution of wealth, that nobody is deprived from health care.

Policies that promote competitive markets for pharmaceuticals, particularly in the area of procurement, regulatory approvals including biologicals and intellectual property, should be implemented. Governments should make use of the available space in the TRIPS Agreement to apply rigorous definitions of invention and patentability standards and use other flexibilities allowed.

The Centre noted the recognition, in the draft political declaration, of the responsibilities of governments as well as of their right to choose their own path towards achieving UHC. In , C. A couple of years later, the first investment cases dealing with IP issues were made public.

In this context, this paper first addresses the conditions that have to be fulfilled in order to bring intellectual property claims in investment arbitration, by touching upon the question of the definition of an investment in theory and in practice. It also tries to shed light on some of the implications of recent arbitral awards touching upon this interaction between intellectual property and investment protection, from a legal and regulatory perspective. One of the biggest challenges policymakers and innovators in developing countries confront again and again is scarcity—in access to trained professionals, in transportation, and in other infrastructure.

For example, reports estimate that as many as 1 billion people lack access to essential health care because of a shortage of trained health professionals. For instance, Cameroon has fewer than 50 cardiologists supporting a population of over 23 million citizens. For instance, in , researchers at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands found that, on average, essential medicines are available in public-sector facilities in developing countries only 40 percent of the time. Stronger IP rights create an environment wherein entrepreneurs can innovate to meet health challenges in their own nations, the benefits thereof spilling over to benefit the entire international community.

Academic research has also found that stronger IPR protections support exports from developing countries and faster growth rates of certain industries.


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Yang and Kuo argue that stronger IPR protection improves the export performance of firms benefitting from technology transfer. And in their research, Cavazos Cepeda et al. They also found a significant association between copyrights and export turnover. In cross-country studies, researchers have found that stronger patent rights are associated with faster company growth in IP-intensive industries such as pharmaceuticals. In fact, during the early s, a one-standard-deviation increase in patent rights was associated with an increase in firm growth of 0.

Nations that have not implemented—or do not enforce—robust intellectual property rights protections end up harming their economic development in at least three principle ways. First, they deter future innovative activity. Third, in countries with weak IP protections, firms are forced to invest undue amounts of resources in protection rather than invention.

For instance, the lack of effective protection for intellectual property rights in China has limited the introduction of advanced technology and innovation investments by foreign companies, thereby reducing potential benefits to local innovation capacity.

Some countries not on the global technological frontier have used a strategy of intellectual property theft as part of attempts to catch up. To be sure, while researchers such as Grossman and Helpman have found that intellectual property theft can indeed help countries in the short run, they also found that intellectual property theft stifles incentives to embark on home-grown technology development, thus hurting countries and making IP theft a very poor strategy in the long run. Nevertheless, some developing nations persist in believing that having weak IP protections enables them to acquire valuable IP for a few high-tech exporting industries that can drive their economic growth.

Indeed, about 80 percent of productivity growth comes from organizations improving their own productivity, and only about 20 percent comes from more-productive organizations replacing less-productive ones. As such, instituting a weak IP regime in order to boost a few innovation-based industries runs the risk of ignoring the real engine of economic growth for developing countries: across-the-board productivity growth.

Intellectual property - Wikipedia

As noted, robust intellectual property rights spur innovative activity by increasing the appropriability of the returns from innovation. Moreover, as they capture a larger portion of the benefits of their innovative activity, innovating companies obtain the resources to invest in the next generation of innovative activities.

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Rather, innovation is the product not only of market incentives for innovators enabled by IP protection , but also of other incentives, rules, and policies that collectively comprise complex national innovation systems. These include policies related not only to IP but also to scientific research, technology commercialization, investments in information and communications technology, education and skills development, taxes, trade, government procurement, competition, and regulatory policies.

Moreover, in an interconnected world, innovations in one country get applied in virtually all nations. For example, if an innovator in South Korea comes up with much better battery technology, the entire world benefits. These countries seek prosperity by imposing protectionist, trade-distorting policies that tip market scales to expand domestic technology production, including by purposely weakening intellectual property rules and enforcement, compulsorily forcing companies to transfer the rights to their intellectual property or technology, or through the outright theft of intellectual property.

At the heart of many IPR opponents and innovation mercantilist country strategies is the discriminatory treatment of IP held locally versus by foreign firms. Countries using these strategies target foreign IP as part of an industrial strategy that seeks to help domestic firms acquire or imitate foreign technologies in order to allow them to move toward the technological frontier without paying for technology or paying below market value for it. In other words, such countries want strong IP rules to apply only to other nations.

Because innovation is about risk and uncertainty, failure is common; for every Apple succeeding with an iPad, there are many IT companies that fail. Moreover, innovation industries face not just loss of market share from competition, but the loss of existence. This is especially the case in many developing countries where innovation is sorely needed. A key reason innovation mercantilist practices are so damaging to global innovation is they disrupt and distort the economics of innovation-based industries.

In particular, innovation-based enterprises and industries depend on the profits earned from one generation of innovation to finance investment in the next. They must do so because, as innovation-based industries, they compete predominantly not on lower costs but by inventing new-to-the-world, next-generation products.


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However, when countries implement practices such as introducing excess, non-market based competition into an economy or forced localization policies i. While this helped the Korean memory chip industry, it hurt the global chip industry because it contributed to significant global overcapacity, reducing sales and margins for other players. These reasons explain why innovation mercantilist policies such as IP theft or coerced IP disclosure, excessive subsidies, introduction of non-market-based competition among many others are so insidious and deleterious for innovation-based industries.

IPRs Strengthen Innovation

Innovation mercantilist countries seek the easy path of not having to pay market price, or to just not pay at all, for the latest intellectual property and the technology it delivers. Innovation mercantilists and IPR opponents further assume that firms can master all components of new technologies, including codified knowledge and knowhow, without the participation of foreign rights holders.

The debate around intellectual property and climate change in international fora such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals is another example of a misguided focus on short-term goals in this instance, low costs and local production distracting and detracting from superior longer-term impact thus undermining innovation that is tackling more important and longer-term challenges. But if the goal is to create ever-better clean energy, continual dependence on subsidies, especially of a mercantilist variety, is not the way.

Driving innovation is. While green mercantilist practices may boost short-term deployment, such practices reduce the incentives and ability of firms to invest in fundamentally better clean energy technologies.

Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property – Background Brief

As a result, a global clean energy industry propped up by green mercantilist policies may not only produce near-term growth in lower-quality, higher-cost technologies that cannot compete with fossil fuels without sustained government subsidies, it also makes it much more difficult to develop more advanced and competitive alternatives. Looking ahead, innovation mercantilism and its policy components may become a more prevalent strategy unless countries are able to develop a new international framework that protects IP and increases the costs when countries field mercantilist practices.

Otherwise, the vacuum created by the current framework—in terms of increasingly outdated and ineffective IP norms, rules, enforcement, and institutions—will undermine the level of innovation being produced in the global economy. While it should be clear that intellectual property protection is key to national and global innovation, a diverse collection of organizations and individuals opposed to robust and modern intellectual property rights and protections is actively pushing their views across a broad range of forums and organizations.

This has contributed to a complicated, confrontational, and inconsistent norm-setting and rule-making process around intellectual property globally. A fundamental fault line in the debate over intellectual property pertains to the need to achieve a reasoned balance between access and exclusive rights. This fundamental trade-off is inescapable.

Both involve legitimate public policy goals, but there is a clear conflict between them. Scholars and advocates who support intellectual property engage in vigorous and reasoned debates about how to balance rights, exceptions, and limitations in both domestic law and trade agreements—albeit based around a shared understanding that intellectual property and its protection are critical. Their debate is essentially over where to draw certain lines, such as whether patents should be subject to a second review. However, the debate that prevails in many international forums and organizations is not focused on this nuanced balancing; rather, it is focused on advancing a wholesale diminution of intellectual property broadly, including with regard to both its role in supporting innovation and its connection to trade.

Coupled with the fact that many developing nations provide a welcome audience for such views, the IP opponents have been effective enough that a key framework condition for global innovation is now threatened. As such, any effort to establish new rules and norms around IP protection requires an analysis of their anti-IP ideology.

It then uses the debate over IP in negotiations toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement as a recent case study in how opponents seek to undermine efforts to improve IP rules internationally. In particular, the TPP debate was indicative of how opposition to intellectual property is often aligned with broader opposition to related issues, especially the role of trade agreements in enabling closer economic integration and the role played by large companies in the global economy.

Much of the debate over IP stems from different conceptions of economic theory and the processes of economic growth. These differing conceptions can be referred to as economic doctrines or ideologies.

Intellectual property

The following section examines some of the central ideological and policy positions asserted by IPR opponents. Many opponents of robust IP protection share two major characteristics: a distrust of big business and a skepticism for private markets. At the same time, by arguing that robust IPRs only benefit big corporations, they assert their views as being the ones that best support average citizens and the broader public interest.

The fact that many of these same commentators, academics, and NGOs also support the greater use of competition and antitrust policies to target large firms is a natural extension of this animus toward big business. But to portray intellectual property provisions in trade agreements as the tool of large corporations is, first of all, an ad hominem attack and therefore irrelevant.

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It also reflects how critics do not want to acknowledge the broader role IP plays in terms of employment and economic growth. For if they did, it would be much harder for them to prevail in the court of public opinion. IP skeptics believe there is no overlap between company interests and worker interests.

It is as if none of the revenues from the creation, delivery, and marketing of content—whether it be for a movie, a video game, or an album—go to the tens of thousands of artists, technicians, and others directly or indirectly involved in their creation. This localism favors national firms over transnational firms and local firms over national firms as a matter of principle. Yet consumers have an interest not only in low prices which in theory they could get if all IPRs were abolished but in the production of intellectual property, creating the next great movie, the next hit song, the next breakthrough drug, etc.

Similarly, new drugs launched in Colombia from to reduced the number of medical procedures in by In short, by arguing that IPRs only benefit businesses—and principally only big businesses—anti-IPR advocates seek to be on the side of the angels. That is why they fight so hard to advance a narrative that creativity, content creation, and innovation are not dependent on IPR. For them, consumers and workers can have it all: weak IP rights and more and better intellectual property and thus innovation production.